Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
First and foremost- do not worry. Mara is not currently in the hospital. She was in there almost a month ago, but I am just now documenting it.
Thank you Nancy and Tammy for coming to visit us and bring Mara goodies and this giant Jack-o-Lantern! She loved it so much she carried it around the house until it totally deflated just a few days ago!
We would like to thank all of you for the thoughts and prayers and phone calls while we had our little scare. My heart goes out to all the families with children that have weeks and months of hospitalization to endure. I don't know how they do it. As I prepare to become a nurse myself, I know this experience will stay with me and help me relate to my patients better. I have gained a whole new perspective.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
These little heels light up with blue flashing LED lights when she walks around.
Gotta love this little girly-girl!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I found this funny list on another blog. I believe it was taken from a pass along email. Here are some different answers to the age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?
According to some well known authorities...
SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken,
cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he
recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all
the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that
little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely
qualified to ensure right from Day One! That every chicken in this
country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the
road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road,or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the
satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is
your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am
now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled
about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain
AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken,
but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of
NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You
can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken
was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my
eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave
me any insider information.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a
toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road.
Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads
together, in peace.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only
cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and
balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of
eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never
crash or need to be rebooted.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the
road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
Monday, October 20, 2008
I'd like to know what others think about this lady who believes children should choose when to be weaned from breastfeeding. Luckily, I wasn't faced with any dilema since my kids stopped around 8 months. This lady has really taken it a step further.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
My youngest brother returned home from serving a 2 year mission for our church recently. We are so proud of him and the choice he made to go. He said it was a great experience- and the best decision of his life. He will be going to farrier school soon (to learn how to shoe horses), then will continue his studies in animal science at New Mexico State University.
Onto the next chapter of his life...
Friday, October 3, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Since moving here three years ago, I've really missed being around her and my dad in NM. Their house is always fun and different. They have horses and dogs and mules and a farm that we love to go to. Not a trip goes by that my dad doesn't have us doing some kind of manual labor. It's character building, and I miss it. The kids love ridding the tractor and picking up rocks and other misc. dirty things while we're there. Last weekend while visiting, we harvested some corn from their garden in one corner of the field. There were pumpkins ready, too, but we didn't bring any home on the plane. I was flying with them alone, and wasn't a fan of carrying on extra vegetables. (we'll have to get one at HEB like everyone else here).
Anyway, back to my mom. She's really cool in a makes-you-laugh-at-corny-jokes sort of way. She really loves her kids (especially Ty) and shows me all the time that being a peacemaker is how it's supposed to be done. (I really struggle with that one). I love that she know so much about plants and animals and other nerdy stuff (she's a science teacher), because I'm like that, too. Mostly, though, I love the way she grandmothers my kids. She's the best grandma ever. From sending Cam smashed pennies (they share a hobby of collecting them), to mailing letters addressed just to them, she makes them feel special. It's a good thing- because it compensates for my inadequacies!
Today the kids and I called to wish her a Happy Birthday, and she said that's all she needed as a gift. If I had a million dollars, I'd buy her something really great that she'd love- like a custom turtle habitat, or self-irrigating garden or something. Instead, I'm writing this blog and saying Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
We just celebrated our 8th anniversary. Its crazy how time flies and before you know it you’re looking at almost a decade together. Before you know it, holidays sneak up so fast you don’t know what to get that will do the other person justice. You know what he got for his gift this year? A survival knife. Not some cheesy Rambo number. No, he got a SOG Seal Pup Elite with TiNi coating. Ever heard of Bear Grylls? He’s featured on “Man vs. Wild”. Bear uses a knife similar to Mikes in his expeditions. I know that it sounds weird to get a knife from your wife for your anniversary, but he was totally excited and was going on and on about how much he loved it. He was doing the whole looking at it from every angle, shaving his arm hair and feeling of the blade with his thumb thing. I’m so glad I know him well enough to get him just what he wanted.
We stayed overnight in Fredericksburg, TX as part of the anniversary experience this year also. It was short but fun. I’m hoping to go again for a longer length of time so we can visit some museums we missed this go-round. The main allure of the town is shopping for antiques and boutique style items along the historic main street. Mike knew I had been longing to do that for a couple of years- so he made it happen. It meant a lot considering Mike HATES to go shopping. He took it like a man, though. He planned ahead and wore comfortable clothes and brought along his Ipod to listen to as I browsed all the shops. In the end we had a great time.
There are so many things I love about Mike and want him to know, but for the sake of time and space, I’ll list my top 5:
(in no particular order)
1. Mike is the hardest working man (tied with my dad) that I know. He finds providing for his family very important.
2. I feel safe with Mike. Guns and other misc. weapons aside, I know Mike will defend and protect me and our children if the need ever arises. No pansies here.
3. He is the biggest cheerleader husband a girl could ask for. He thinks everything I do is important and turns out awesome- even if it isn’t that great in reality.
4. Honesty. Good, Bad or Ugly- Mike will tell you the truth if you ask for it.
5. He’s fun. The best times are when we’re being silly and playing around like kids. It’s great to be married to your best friend.
Happy Anniversary, Mike. I Love You Big.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
After swimming we came back to the house and ate. Brandi and I hung out for a while the kids played. Cam introduced the girls to the world of “good guy/bad guy” with his guns and they hid and chased each other all over the house.
It was a good time that wouldn’t have been half as fun without our friends. Thanks for coming over, guys!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
My mom drove all the way from Mimbres, NM (12-ish hours) just to visit us this past week. While here she did some great stuff with the kids. I don’t have pictures for much of it since she hates having her picture taken. Here’s a sampling of the many activities she did with the kids:
- Went to the Austin Children’s Museum
- Took them to Zilker park and rode the train
- Made zucchini bread together (my favorite)
- Went fishing with the whole family
- Did leather project with Cam. (She taught him how to use a few leather working tools she picked up at a store while she was here). He made his very own coin purse/wallet.
- Went swimming and saw Cam doing the underwater doggie-paddle. Very funny.
- Helped Cam write and practice his talk on living the Gospel Standards
- Played go fish which ended in a three-way tie. (nobody lost)
- Did Mara’s hair pretty
- And last but not least she let them bounce on her sleeping arrangements (blow-up mattress) every day!
Thanks for visiting and making our week so much fun, Mom!! You’re a great example of what a great mom and grandmother are. We love you!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
More than 25 years ago, I stole a stuffed animal from some kid at my daycare. My mom tried to give it back, but in the end, I got to keep it. He became a very close attachment which I named Black Monkey. I don't remember if I used to take him with me places, but I do know there weren't many nights that I slept without my arm curled around him. Even after getting married I had him around. Eventually, though, Mike won out and Black Monkey was put away in a box.
Fast forward to 2004 when Cam was a little over a year old. I thought it would be so great if Cam wanted to hold my childhood companion. He actually cried any time I put Black Monkey near him. He was genuinely scarred of him! Back in the box he went until today. I had a yard sale this weekend, and in looking through stuff found the box with all the sentimental keepsake stuff. Out he came again. I thought I'd give it another try...this time with Mara. Guess what? She LOVES him!!! I'm so happy that she wants to carry him around and point to his shoes and eyes and tongue and (one)ear. Tonight she wanted to sleep with him and I was more than happy to let her.
That's the cute part. The funny part was when I told Cam (in an effort to get him to try to hold Black Monkey) that "Mara loves Black Monkey". Cam replied "He scares me. Every time I see his face I just get scared". I couldn't stop laughing, because so many people including my brothers and Mike have said how ugly this stuffed animal is.
I think there must be something about stuffed monkeys in my blood. My mom has one that is similar that she's had since childhood named Monkey Doodle and now my daughter has fallen in love with mine. I couldn't be happier. I hope she finds comfort in him the way I did as a child.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Mike took the kids out and about today so I could stay home and study in peace. They went fishing.(big suprise!).
First they went to Pflugerville Lake. They didn't have any sucess there, so they decided to go browse around Sportsman's Warehouse. Berkley (a company that sells fishing lures and equiptment) happened to be there with a promotional trailer and a fishing exhibit for the kids. There was a large pool filled with water and some fish. They supplied fishing poles,some bait and barbless hooks you couldcatch the fish with. Well, being the awesome little fisherpeople my kids are, they caught some! Unfortunatley, I wasn't there and Mike didn't have a camera handy, so the actual event wasn't caught on film. The Berkley people were having a little fishing "tournament" while this was going on and they won!! They each brought home a trophy.
Mike and I are so proud of them, but Uncle Justin and Ty will be even prouder! Looks like our kids are off to a great start.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Here's the Michael Buble Version:
And here's the country version by Blake Shelton:
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Take a close look at this picture. Yes, that is Mike mowing. I wasn't feeling 100%, so he volunteered to help. Look again. No, that is not just a backpack. It is a Camlebak water backpack. He's working so hard in this Texas heat that he thinks he needs a hydration device! He has been wanting one of these for some time now and finally found one at a good price. We found it while browsing Sportsman's Warehouse the other day. It just makes me laugh seeing my manly-man using it while mowing the lawn! It's funny how much he exagerates and goes "over the top" sometimes.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The particular area where we stopped was pretty shallow, except for a few pooling areas. I decided that I would cast in one of the deeper areas upstream from where I stood. I threw out my line beyond the hole and slowly reeled it in as it floated back towards me. No luck on the first two tries, but on number three, I snagged a log…Or so I thought. The log (actually a fish) began to take my line upstream and fight. I was so excited that I had a fish on that I actually began to yell with excitement and jump up and down like a little kid. The battle to bring in my catch continued while my dad and Mike gave me instructions such as “tighten that drag” and “give him some line” as well as “don’t let him get under that bank with your line!” The fish surfaced a couple of times. (whether by his own efforts or mine I don’t know). This is when things got really exciting, because I saw just how BIG he was! We could also see that it was in fact a catfish, and for all intents and purposes, a lifetime record for me. Of course, as I mentioned before, it wouldn’t have taken much to surpass my other fish in size.
I reeled the lunker (as I was calling him) up to the bank where my dad got into the water and pulled him out. We estimate that my catfish was between 13-15 lbs. We took a lot of pictures and then I let him go back into the river.
After recovering from the adrenaline rush of my big catfish, I baited another hook and continued to fish in the same fashion and area. I brought in two more nice- sized catfish without more than 4 or 5 attempts/worms. I simply could not believe I was catching them! My dad had gone downstream after the first catch, so he missed seeing the others, but when he came back and saw the pictures, he was impressed with my domination of cats in his absence.
My mom, realizing that she really, really wanted a fish like what had been dragged out so far, decided to traipse across the river to the area where I was. She sacrificed the only dry shoes she brought on the trip to make it to the “sweet spot”. There were a few bites and one fish actually broke her line, but alas, not catfish. She did catch a mud sucker, though, so it wasn’t completely in vain.
The last fish we caught in that spot was another cat. I hooked it and let Cam reel it in. He was very excited, although not as excited as you’d expect for a 5 year old. He’s a seasoned fisherman by this time and casts his own line and reels his own fish in. He acted like it was just another day at the urban lake catching bluegills.
My dad returned from downstream with a nice rainbow trout. It had swallowed the hook, so he had to keep it. We kept Cam’s fish also and cooked them over the campfire at dinner time.
Other than these two, we released all the fish.
Our trip on horseback started at the top of a mountain in the Gila Wilderness. It was 1 ½ miles to the Gila River almost straight down on a Forest Service Trail. Once at the river, we continued for another 1-2 miles to find a good spot to camp. My Dad led the group with a string of 4 pack mules. Since we were only staying one night, they weren't loaded very heavy, making it less stressful. (Good thinking, Dad!). Mike was next in line ridding Kate, followed by me on Chapo leading Cam on Tiny. Mom brought up the rear on Pat.After setting up camp, we went fishing.
I caught a few big catfish, my mom caught a mud sucker, and Dad caught a rainbow trout. It was a great time. There's a whole blog entry on my fishing experience coming up.Dinner was delicious fajitas made by mom followed by roasted marshmallows for desert. Does it get any better than this? We all slept ok, even Mara- not counting the 3 or so times she woke up crying in the middle of the night.
In the morning, we ate breakfast and headed back to the river in hopes of a repeat success. No such luck, though. Cam and I team-caught a sucker and that was it. I think there were a few others on that got away for Dad and Mom. Mike didn't fish much because he was busy watching after Mara and re-rigging Cam and my fishing poles. Cam played in the water a little bit and Mara played in the sand under a shade tree with Mike and Mom.
That afternoon, we broke camp and packed up the mules for the ride out. We made it almost all the way out without incident. Mara actually slept almost the whole time! About ¼ mile from the truck, Cam’s cinch on his saddle broke. We did some switching around and he ended up on Kate with Mike walking the last little bit with Mara on his shoulders. Before you feel bad for Mike you should know that he was jumping at the opportunity to walk. I think he was done with the whole ridding-while-carrying-a-toddler thing. All in all, it was a pretty easy ride. Nobody got hurt, and that’s what matters.
Back at the truck we unpacked the mules, loaded them up and headed home. Mike’s truck hauled the 13,500 or so pound load out without much trouble at all. His brakes heated up on the way in, but were ok going out.
We consider ourselves very blessed to have had the opportunity to go on this adventure. Thanks Mom and Dad for taking us and providing the four-legged transportation and all the food and equipment. Hopefully we can do this again next summer!